Porn producer Dominic Ford doesn't appear in front of the camera ever, but I did meet him in person once a long time ago, and though my memory is hazy, I think he was actually super hot? Let’s say he was. We talked right before the 4th of July about some of his million projects—the Fire Island series, Silence of the Cams, and So You Think You Can Fuck.
Dominic Ford‘s name is one that I, like a lot of people, originally heard when he released the first-ever 3-D gay porn feature, Whorrey Potter and the Sorcerer’s Balls. Since then, he’s brought us three seasons of his reality series So You Think You Can Fuck?, as well as a bunch of other serial projects and one-off scenes. (Who can forget his update of that beloved fairy tale, Hansel and the Cum Witch?)
He’s a man with a lot of balls in the air at any given time, both literally and figuratively, but he spoke with me the other day to update me on a number of projects, including his new Silence of the Lambs parody and his most recent attempt to save the porn industry.
Hey Dominic! How’s your summer going so far?
I’m living on Fire Island, although right now I’m in the car running errands on the mainland. We were in New York for twelve years, but last year we moved to Florida. But I’ve been living on Fire Island every summer for the last ten years. For me, it’s my second home.
And the inspiration for Meatrack, right?
Yeah. That’s our latest series. We’ll be releasing scenes through the entire summer, all set around the Meat Rack section of Fire Island. It’s our ode to the summer. We’ve got seven scenes ready now, but I have a hunch we’ll be shooting some more before it’s over. We’ve got some hot guys involved, like Trenton Ducati and JD Phoenix. There are some new guys, too. Kurt Von Ryder is one you’ll want to keep your eye on. Duncan Black, who won So You Think You Can Fuck?, is in it too. It’s the first time we’ve had him back since he won.
So You Think You Can Fuck! I hope a fourth season is in the works?
Yes! Season 4 will be our next big project. Typically, we film it at the end of the summer. People really clamor for those.
Any details yet?
We’re working on a location. The game has evolved so dramatically. It’s become much more difficult for the contestants. The first season it was twelve contestants, and they’d just have to answer a trivia question and then do a scene. The second season there were six contestants doing group challenges. One scene in each episode. We filmed it at a resort in Key West, so there were lots of bars and food and the guys went out every night. For season three, we filmed at a deserted Army barracks, forty-five minutes away from the nearest store. The contestants lived in the wilderness and got up at sunrise and had to do really physical challenges. There were mud pits and canoe races.
That makes more sense to me. Strong arms are probably more important for a porn star than trivia.
Right. These guys are all very athletic and the athletic challenges played to their strengths. Some of them fared well and some of them… Well, they look butch on the exterior until you take away their hair dryer. Some had some mental breakdowns and some had some of the best experiences in the industry that they’ll ever have. Actually part of me just wants to go back to that barracks. One thing, though, is that we’ll never do exactly the same thing twice. Who knows? It might be fun to bring the show to Provincetown. That was the original idea when we went to Key West, that each season we’d take over a different gay resort. But to go back into an urban environment seems less interesting now.
Speaking of new environments, tell me a little about Sweatbox, another recent project of yours…
Well, Dominic Ford is a pretty vanilla brand, generally, so we decided it might be fun to make something that’s a little raunchier and a little dirtier. Sweatbox is the name of a sex club in South Florida, and we took it over and had the run of the place for a week. That environment was so different than what I’m used to. There were swings, fog, saunas, steam rooms. I think it’s really some of our best stuff. There are six scenes on the site now, two or three that feature DP’s. I’m very, very proud of this series.
But these are all professional performers, right? It’s not like you were filming just any guy that walked into the club?
Right. All pro models. Sean Duran, Tate Ryder. Jeremy Stevens, who is awesome and amazing. Shane Jacobs, Cooper Reed… They’re on the site now. Speaking of which, you can get a whole year for $99 right now, which is the lowest we’ve ever had. After the DOMA decision was reversed, we offered the promo code “SCALIA”. He doesn't want you to get married, but he can still get you off.
That’s funny. Oh, speaking of funny. Tell me about Silence of the Cams.
Silence is our big parody for the year. A few years ago, we got on the map with Whorrey Potter, but we didn’t want to be a one-trick pony, so we did our best not to do parodies. We had just launched live cams on the site, and we wanted to see what we could do to work that into what we do. Silence is a two-part movie with ten hardcore sex scenes. Trenton Ducati is Clarice, and he’s after a killer who logs into your cam site and then kills your models. You can livestream it or get it in stores at the end of the summer. We did it with all-new technology, and the quality is beyond anything we’ve done before.
You definitely seem like a tech guy, and I know that porn’s generally at the forefront of media technology…
We try. This scene that we just released is six gigs in 3-D. A lot of the 3-D people are demanding higher and higher resolutions. And we’ll be filming in 4K soon. Nobody actually owns a 4K TV yet, but we’ll do it just to do it and maybe we’ll be the first, and then three people will actually get to see it the way it was filmed.
And at the same time, you’re publishing this magazine.
Adult Magazine. It’s going great. July is our seventeenth issue. People have been very vocal about how much they love it, and we have around 25,000 subscribers. Whenever we’re late putting it out by a few hours, we get a barrage of emails. And something exciting for us is that Apple is releasing iBooks for OSX. We design Adult for the iPad so we’re super excited that people on a computer will be able to see it the way it was designed.
That is good news. So, uh, anything else exciting going on?
I always feel like we don’t do anything until I start talking about what we’re doing. What else is going on? Jeez. We’re developing other series that we’ll be putting on the site weekly. More conceptual pieces, because they breed interest and loyalty from viewers. Oh, and do you know about Porn Guardian?
My whole other company in the industry is my anti-piracy company called Porn Guardian. It’s a company that finds content that’s being distributed illegally online. A guy named Peter saw some of my work online, and he informed me about it and asked if I wanted him to send a DMCA letter, which is a cease and desist letter you send when your copyrighted material is being used without permission. Eventually, I decided to build him a platform where the system sends out letters automatically. Five months later, it was huge and now we have a staff of thirty-five people finding torrents, tube sites and file hosts.
And it’s saving the industry a lot of money?
It’s tough to quantify, really, but I can tell you that in lawsuits alone the data that Porn Guardian has found has won people millions of dollars. We’ve done research, and people will look at porn if it’s free. But if it’s not free, people are willing to pay for it. Assuming the content is interesting and unique enough, that is. In our wildest dreams, it could help save the industry.
Final question: Let’s talk about you as a person. A lot of people know your name, but they don’t know you at all. How did you get to be where you are right now? Or do you like to be a mystery?
I prefer enigmatic! But I guess it started because my father’s a photographer and my earliest memories are of developing film and making prints, so I have a love and a knowledge and an appreciation of photography. A number of years ago, I was taking photos of porn stars and escorts and whatnot in New York, and it grew from there. I started thinking about 3-D porn. At the time, no one was doing that and we decided if we wanted to start a company, we’d need to distinguish ourselves to stand out in a crowded market.
But the most proud I’ve been in the industry was actually last year when I won the Grabby Award for Best Still Photography. I guess I’m doing it pretty well.
And your dad? Does he know how you make your living?
Oh yes. He was very proud that day.